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The MedRisk Blog

Provider Spotlight: Rehab Excellence Center

Facility: Rehab Excellence Center

Established: 2001

Services: General orthopedics, sports medicine, spine, industrial rehab, functional capacity evaluation (FCE), Graston technique, functional movement screens (FMS)


When you ask Rehab Excellence Center owner Rob Hicks about the original vision for his New Jersey-based rehabilitation group, he will tell you that while he wrote the business plan, the voice of many influenced the Center’s mission statement.

As a marketing director at one of the nation’s largest rehab providers in the late ’90s, Hicks had spent the greater part of a decade studying and learning the business of physical therapy. It wasn’t long until he began building a blueprint for what he believed to be the ideal rehabilitation practice.

“I realized that, at times, size can actually be a detriment to being efficient,” he said. “I saw 70-80% of the corporate experience as being great, but I began thinking about that 20-30% we could improve upon as a smaller enterprise.”

Hicks listened closely to the priorities of physicians, employers, risk managers, and carriers in his professional circle, which, he says, inspired the nuts and bolts of his business plan – and the three objectives that guide Rehab Excellence staff to this day. They are:

  • Early intervention – Rehab Excellence offers a 24-48-hour admission policy for first appointments, with the hope that by seeing worker’s comp patients faster, they can return to work sooner.
  • Continuity of care – While support staff help carry out a given treatment plan, Rehab Excellence patients can expect to see the same lead therapist at each appointment, providing both continuity of care and efficiency throughout the rehabilitation process.
  • Timely communication with referring customers – Rehab Excellence therapists provide a comprehensive care plan, progress notes and daily notes (upon request) to referring customers, so coordinated clinical decisions can be made as quickly as possible.

It was colleagues within the local physical therapy community that helped inspire Hicks’ vision for Rehab Excellence, and it is that same community that has helped him deliver on his vision.

Internally, Rehab Excellence staff, led by business partner and Director of Clinical Operations Scott Birchmeier and office manager Chrissy Kuss, has worked hard to ensure that there is consistency in quality, both clinically and operationally, across all four of their centers.

In addition, Hicks works to build partnerships with local providers who share his early intervention–focused approach to rehabilitation, so that when employers and carriers ask for recommendations for a particular provider panel, the patient is given clinical options primed for coordinated action.

All this supports the principle that when there is mutual trust, great things can be achieved, and can be achieved more efficiently. This type of trust, which is fostered between Rehab Excellence’s staff and referring clinical colleagues, also exists between therapists and patients, as demonstrated by what staff refer to as the Wall of Excellence.

If a worker’s comp patient meets the clinical goals laid out in their initial care plan, and he or she is 100% compliant over the course of therapy, then the patient’s picture is hung among other successful graduates on the center’s Wall of Excellence.

For Hicks, the wall represents the power of synchronized efforts among a motivated patient, dedicated Rehab Excellence staff, and the greater clinical community.

“It’s about having fun, it’s about motivation, and it’s about meeting your goals by working hard,” he said. “And when that happens, it’s not just the patient; the doctor, the carrier, the employer—everybody wins.”

Rehab Excellence Center currently serves New Jersey customers from four South Jersey locations: Pennsauken, Vorhees, Hainesport, and Turnersville.